MANILA -- Margie Moran recently spent some quality time with her niece, Bella Ysmael, who finished first runner-up in the inaugural Miss Universe Philippines pageant.
On Instagram, the former Miss Universe shared photos from her Sunday lunch with Ysmael and the rest of her family at Manila House Private Members Club in Taguig City.
"Sunday lunch with family. Proud to be with first runner-up Miss Universe Philippines and cousins," said Moran, who is now the chairperson of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, as she tagged the accounts of the young beauty queen and her other relatives.
Posting the same set of photos on her Instagram page, Ysmael said she feels blessed "with a family that supports me and believes in me," adding that they keep her "motivated and grounded."
"Always an honor," she said of her bonding moment with her "ever iconic" aunt.
Shortly after the Miss Universe Philippines pageant last October, Moran declared that Ysmael is her "champion" as she described her as a "standout."
But she acknowledged that "the purpose designed for you is greater than you can imagine."
"We love you for who you are," the former Miss Universe added, as she declared her support for her niece.
Ysmael, who represented Parañaque, finished first runner-up to Rabiya Mateo of Iloilo in Miss Universe Philippines 2020.
Moran, on the other hand, made history in 1973 as the country's second Miss Universe titleholder. Other winners from the Philippines include Gloria Diaz (1969), Pia Wurtzbach (2015), and Catriona Gray (2018).